Top 7 Nominations for our 2014 Mock Newbery!

These, in addition to titles we have added to our book cart very recently, are the books we are reading, considering, comparing, debating, etc. etc.

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens, by Gloria Whelan
- …It was very emotional as she had a self conflict with fear of standing up for injustice. – Shreya
All That’s Missing, by Sarah Sullivan
- I like the journey he took with one piece of information, and it was suspenseful. – Yazhini
Anna Was Here, by Jane Kurtz
- The plot is full of conflicts that have solutions. – Sadhana
Boy on the Porch, by Sharon Creech
- Since the boy doesn’t talk, people will think differently based on the characters’ actions. – Sadhana
- How one boy changed a couple’s life completely. – Chris
Boy on the Wooden Box, by Leon Leyson
- This made me think more about the Nazis… – Ben H.
Brotherhood, by A. B. Westrick
- I liked the mood that it gave me… gave a colorful and vivid scene to the text… mixed connotations which I found intriguing. – Surya
- The whole story was pretty thought provoking and the theme of right versus wrong was very strong throughout. I found that everything in it really stuck with me. – Krista
Counting by 7s, by Holly Sloan
- The setting is amazing.  It brings the characters together… – Chris
- …personalities so in-depth I could relate to them and sort of talk to them. – Surya
- Very touching how a misfit girl with no social skills can change so many people’s lives. – Krista
Doll Bones, by Holly Black
- …unique with a suspenseful tone… – Shreya
Far Far Away, by Tom McNeal
- perfect writing style. – Ethan
Flowers in the Sky, by Lynn Joseph
- …I knew the characters personally and felt attached to them. – Ponni
- I like how the main character adapts to her new life. – Varunya
The Great Trouble, by Deborah Hopkinson
- The story was memorable and unexpected. – Aparna
Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett
- …the characters got along like friends more than like a family. – Ramkishore
If I Ever Get Out of Here, by Eric Gansworth
- This plot was so typical but yet different. – Varunya
Lara’s Gift, by Annmarie O’Brien
- …you felt like you were right next to them… – Zoe
Lightning Dreamer, by Margarita Engle
- Writing in verse allowed you to connect with the characters easily. – Gokul
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, by Steve Sheinkin
- It took real life events and made them into an interesting story, as a TV series would.  I could vividly imagine them happening in my mind as I read this. – Surya
Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur
- I love this book! The characters are great and the plot is quite interesting. – Mikala
Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby
- …the book almost came alive. – Ethan
Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool
- Characters were very well described and developed. – Toby
- The depth in this story was truly genius. The major theme is being lost and trying to get found. I connected better with Early than with Jack.  – Krista
One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake
- This setting was very clear, which I enjoyed. – Varunya
- Characters were well developed without being obvious. – Gokul
Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff
- The title of the book is the theme that gave reason for all the different characters to be in the book. – Olivia
- I liked that all the stories came together and the theme made it interesting. – Ben H.
True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt
- I could almost feel how the swamp felt and see how the swamp looked. – Elizabeth
Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
- …the author put lots of description into the book. – Ethan

These kids have considered 240 titles to get down to these!  Great job!

First Top 3 Nominations

We had a wonderful meeting October 18!  Lots of discussion, Ms. Valerie visiting, pizza, “musical chairs lobbying” for favorite titles, playing freeze tag, and above all – our first official nomination list for this year!

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens, by Gloria Whelan
- …It was very emotional as she had a self conflict with fear of standing up for injustice. – Shreya
All That’s Missing, by Sarah Sullivan
- I like the journey he took with one piece of information, and it was suspenseful. – Yazhini
Anna Was Here, by Jane Kurtz
- The plot is full of conflicts that have solutions. – Sadhana
Boy on the Porch, by Sharon Creech
- Since the boy doesn’t talk, people will think differently based on the characters’ actions. – Sadhana
Brotherhood, by A. B. Westrick
- I liked the mood that it gave me… gave a colorful and vivid scene to the text… mixed connotations which I found intriguing. – Surya
Counting by 7s, by Holly Sloan
- The setting is amazing.  It brings the characters together… – Chris
- …personalities so in-depth I could relate to them and sort of talk to them. – Surya
Flowers in the Sky, by Lynn Joseph
- …I knew the characters personally and felt attached to them. – Ponni
Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett
- …the characters got along like friends more than like a family. – Ramkishore
Lara’s Gift, by Annmarie O’Brien
- …you felt like you were right next to them… – Zoe
Lightning Dreamer, Margarita Engle
- Writing in verse allowed you to connect with the characters easily. – Gokul
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, by Steve Sheinkin
- It took real life events and made them into an interesting story, as a TV series would.  I could vividly imagine them happening in my mind as I read this. – Surya
Listening for Lucca, by Suzanne LaFleur
- I love this book! The characters are great and the plot is quite interesting. – Mikala
Lost Kingdom, by Matthew Kirby
- …the book almost came alive. – Ethan
Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool
- Characters were very well described and developed. – Toby
Pet War, by Allan Woodrow
- …seeing different perspectives and how they persuade people… – Sadhana
Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
- …plot paced perfectly…well described fantasy world better than any other I have read this year. – Cassidy
Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff
- The title of the book is the theme that gave reason for all the different characters to be in the book. – Olivia
- I liked that all the stories came together and the theme made it interesting. – Ben H.
True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt
- I could almost feel how the swamp felt and see how the swamp looked. – Elizabeth
Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
- …the author put lots of description into the book. – Ethan
Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi
- I liked how it was deeper than you would expect. – Ethan

Please stay tuned for our other nominations the first Friday  of December!

Our Nominations!

As a result of Friday’s additional 4 titles nominated, our list now includes 7 from almost every book club member.  Of course there is some overlap, but it is still a long list.  We are feverishly reading each other’s choices as well as comparing new titles that are still coming in.

After Eli, by Rebecca Rupp; Candlewick
“This was extremely moving and touching… I could actually understand him.” – Cassidy
Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin; Roaring Book Press
“I liked how you heard different points of view from different characters.” – Ethan
Broken Lands, by Kate Milford; Clarion
“…the fireworks were part of what made it unnique.. even though there is a complex plot I understood.” – Krista
Child of the Mountains, by Marilyn Sue Shank; Random House
“…events are described with details that give you an omniscient view from the writer.” – Ponni
Crow, by Barbara Wright; Random House
“The setting played a major role in the plot of this book, making the reader more engaged in the story and what was going on.” – Bonnie
Diamond in the Desert, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice; Viking
“…provides enough information, but the setting is the strongest point.” – Sachi
Dogs of Winter, by Bobbie Pyron; Arthur Levine
“…the writing kept me engaged…” – Bonnie
Dreamsleeves, by Coleen Paratore; Scholastic
“The concept is the solution, it is creative, and the whole book revolves around it.” – Varunya
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson; Nancy Paulsen Books
“The theme about kindness is everywhere…” – Gokul
False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen; Scholastic
“…held back the story but the story was moving.” – Claire
If Only, by Carole Geithner; Scholastic
“The plot is relate-able and is heartfelt and touching.” – Ponni
In a Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz; Dutton
“…style was funny and a little scary…” – Ben H.
Interrupted, by Rachel Coker; Zondervan
“Allie’s struggle after losing her mother really touched me.” – Cassidy
The Last Princess, by Galaxy Craze; Little, Brown
“..spectacular plot twists and turns and there are several surprises.” – Rebekah
Laugh with the Moon, by Shana Burg; Delacourte
“You could connect with the characters.” – Mikala
Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine; Putnam
“I felt that I could relate and think of them as a part of myself.” – Surya
May B., by Caroline Starr Rose; Schwartz & Wade
“The main character had excellent character development…makes it distinguished.” – Jessica
Merits of Mischief: the Bad Apple, by T. R. Burns; Aladdin
“… interesting plot and setting, both of which create a great story with strange yet humorous characters.” – Andrew
Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Random House
“It captures the emotions of the characters of that time period very well.” – Mukil
Miles to Go for Freedom, by Linda Barrett Osborne; Abrams
“…many first-person accounts… doesn’t need pictures.” – Ramkishore
No Crystal Stair, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; Carolrhoda Books
“I liked… it first had an idea from one person’s view, then the same idea from another person’s view.” – Ajay
The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate; Harper
“Ivan influences his world in captivity more than his captors do, and his emotions are written effectively.” – Martha
One for the Murphys, by Lynda Hunt; Penguin
“…emotionally written the whole way.” – Varunya
Precious Bones, by Mika Ashley-Hollinger; Delacourte
“descriptive setting and well-written character development along with the other literary elements create an initeresting, and may I say “distinguished” book.” – Andrew
Robbie Forest and the Outlaws of Sherwood St., by Peter Abrahams; Philomel
“…characters motivated me because even when no one trusted them, they still trusted themselves.” – Shreya
Rush for the Gold, by John Feinstein; Knopf
“The writing style was exciting and fast-paced.” – Ben H.
Son, by Lois Lowry; Houghton Mifflin
“It’s incredibly dramatic to go from a controlled dystopian city setting to an almost primitive village life… with a fantastic plot that ties it together neatly in the end.” – Mehlynn
Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver; Harper
“…theme of courage and love always makes me happy.” – Claire
Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz; Candlewick
“I felt the characters came alive…” – Ethan
Starry River of the Sky, by Grace Lin; Little, Brown
“..compare the change in their personalities from start to finish.” Bonnie
Summer and Bird, by Katherine Catmull; Dutton
“The writing style… haunts you.” – Krista
Summer of the Gypsy Moths, by Sara Pennypacker; Balzer+Bray
“The bonding and the theme of the connection between the two girls…” – Cassidy
Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage; Dial Books
“…many plot twists mixed with great elements of suspense kept me enthralled.” – Mehlynn
Tracks, by Diane Wilson; McElderry Books
“The setting had a strong effect… the characters felt strong and believable.” – Bonnie
Unfortunate Son, by Constance Leeds; Viking
“…how the author made every moment memorable.” – Cassidy
Ungifted, by Gordon Korman; Balzer+Bray
“…heartwarming and hilarious at the same time.” – Mehlynn
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio; Knopf
“…the multi-person point of view worked really well because you saw how different people felt about the boy and his face.” – Mikala

I am proud of these kids’ accomplishment to come up with their own nomination list again this year.  What other titles would you suggest we consider for our Mock Newbery Award in January?

First Top 3 Nominations

We had a great meeting Friday!  Pizza, new books, criteria discussion, freeze tag in the library, nominations, and taking home another stack of books to read – how could it NOT be a great meeting?!

This is a list of our nominations at this time (with partial reasons).  Another Top 4 titles from each person will be added to these the end of November.

Bomb, by Steve Shenkin; Roaring Brook Press
- “It read more like a story than it did a non-fiction book.” – Bonnie
Broken Lands, by Kate Milford; Clarion Books
- “I really like the relationship between Sam and Jin.” – Cassidy
Crow, by Barbara Wright; Random House
- “This book was very deep and it was sad, making the characters strong.” – Ben
A Diamond in the Desert, by Kathryn Fitzmaurice; Viking
- “The setting was good and it takes place in our nation’s history.” – Ajay
Dreamsleeves, by Coleen Paratore; Scholastic
- “The concept and the plot are distinguished, and I like how the story seemed very realistic.” – Varunya
Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson; Nancy Paulsen Books
- “It made you feel the regret that the character was feeling.” – Ajay
The Exceptionals, by Erin Cashman; Holiday House
- “The main character had a believable life even though it was extraordinary.” – Cassidy
- “I think the plot was the best thing about this book.” – Yazeed
The False Prince, by Jennifer Nielsen; Scholastic
- “I thought a plot like this was only in the movies!” – Surya
If Only, by Carole Geithner; Scholastic
- “The plot is relateable, heartfelt and touching.” – Ponni
In a Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz; Dutton
- “This style of writing and humor distinguishes this book.” – Andrew
The Last Princess, by Galaxy Craze; Little, Brown & Company
- “The writing style draws a person in and never lets go until the story is at an end.” – Rebekah
Laugh With the Moon, by Shana Burg; Delacourte
- “The story is a page turner as well as touching.” – Ponni
The Lions of Little Rock, by Kristin Levine; Putnam
- “I was drawn into this book and I was lost in it quickly.” – Mukil
May B., by Caroline Starr Rose; Schwartz & Wade
- “I felt that the main character had excellent character development.” – Jessica
Merits of Mischief The Bad Apple, by T. R. burns; Aladdin
- “I really liked the originality of this book.” – Shreya
The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Random House
- “These characters were well described and changed a lot.” – Gokul
One for the Murphys, by Lynda Hunt; Penguin
- “It captures the emotion very, very, very well.” – Varunya
Son, by Lois Lowry; Houghton Mifflin
- “When Clair has finally finished her journey you think that the book’s just going to be done, but when you find that’s not true you feel surprised and helpless, which makes you want to keep reading.” – Krista
Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz; Candlewick
- “The characters were excellent, the presentation of information was well done, the setting was good, and the writing style was just right for this book.” – Claire
Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage; Dial Books
- “The characters were all interesting and I liked how there was not just one story going on.” – Ethan
Ungifted, by Gordon Korman; Balzer+Bray
- “This author has set up a situation that 13 year old boys can relate to, laugh at, and still have a deeper meaning or concept.” – Benjamin
The Unfortunate Son, by Constance Leeds; Viking
- “The plot is the best part.  I still love this book.” – Surya
Wonder, by R. J. Palacio; Knopf
- “The author still manages to make the reader feel a compelling desire to not stop reading.” – Benjamin

I am SO proud of these kids and their dedication.  We will continue to read, as well as compare criteria between books.  What are we still missing?

Top 7 Nominations for 2012 Newbery Award

December 2 we met and came up with a Top 4 in addition to the Top 3 we each nominated 6 weeks ago.  This post includes both, as our final nominations for this year, excluding those Top 4 with only 1 vote.  I recognize that this is a very long list even without listing the 21 titles with only 1 vote.  But I expect that the kids’ comments that go along with them will be worth scrolling down to read!

Amelia Lost: the Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart, by Candace Fleming
. “You come to bond with Amelia.” – Yates
The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell
. “It captivated me.” – Ruchi
. “It was amazing that Clara overcame her worst nemesis, fear, which we all struggle with.” – Rebekah
Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
. “…keeps going back to flashbacks… with a big twist.” – Ram
. “It touched my heart.  I could feel and breathe every word.” – Ruchi
Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney
. “I think the different points of view made this story great.” – Mehlynn
. “…characters were as familiar to me as my friends.” – Surya
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: a Dickens of a Tale, by by Carmen Deedy
. “…characters are varied and well-written into the framework of the story.” – Kyle
City of Orphans by Avi
. “The plot and setting are great.” – Mukil
. “..the kind of story that makes you want to learn more.” – Andrew
. “..occasionally made my heart start racing… I felt like I was in the book.” – Bonnie
The Dragons of Silk by Laurence Yep
. “I love how the generations are connected and overlapping…” – Yael
. “..made me feel as if I were part of the family, living their lives and being with them.” – Bonnie
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
.”…had me reading until the end…” – Ajay
The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
. “While simple, it is very exciting. It makes you want to be the characters.” – Andrew
The Great Migration: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield
. “Story is told in prose and gives a great feeling of the kind of culture that existed among them.” – Kyle
Hidden by Helen Frost
. “The emotions felt by the characters penetrated the pages and controlled the reader’s emotions so well.” – Sachi
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
. “The poetry format matched the story and made it even better.” – Yael
Kick by Walter Dean Myers
. “…the multiple points of view was what I liked.” – Ajay
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
. “The writing is very enticing…” – Andrew
. “Everyone will wish Michael were real.” – Rebekah
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
. “…very different plot.” – Parv
. “Great and gripping story.” – Patrick
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
. “…I couldn’t put it down.” – Yael
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
. “I thought that the voice the author uses is amazing.” – Meylynn
. “I dreamed about the characters.” – Surya
. “…could really bond with the characters.” – Gokul
The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer
. “..plenty of detail so you aren’t left with a cookie-cutter story.” – Patrick
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
. “…ending made me feel strongly for her and her struggles.” – Bonnie
The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone
. “Character development and the details made the story’s plot…” – Ponni
Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow
. “…made the story realistic for me.” – Ponni
The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley
. “Molly takes you along her amazing and unsure adventure.” – Rebekah
Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan
. “The characters were awesome.” – Surya
. “..showed how to be a person on your own.” – Aparna
. “… I can bond with the character.” – Gokul
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
. “The idea of “magic powered by creativity” was amazing.” – Yael
. “An action-packed story filled to the brim in the feelings of an unwanted populace.” – Kyle
The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson
. “Description of futuristic setting is put into words in near-brilliance…” – Kyle
. “…gave me the creeps. ..good visualization and joyful to read.” – Surya
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy
. “I could feel the main character as if she were me.” – Surya

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